Sunday, January 31, 2010

Personal Experiences with Exposure

My own girl is anxious. Whenever I sign her up for anything new, she cries, a lot.

The walk from our car to whatever class I have signed her up for (art, Spanish, coping skills, etc.) is long and arduous for everyone within earshot. Her crying can be described as howling with mild exaggeration, although it has significantly lessened over time. Suffice it to say that people turn and look and wonder what torture I am inflicting on my girl. It becomes like my walk of shame. Only I am not ashamed. Not ashamed of exposing my girl to new experiences. Making sure that my girl does not miss out on opportunities because of her fears and worries. That is my job as her adult and I take it on, proudly.

Sitting in the darkened and cavernous Pantages theater right before the beginning of the Lion King musical, my 5-year old girl whispered in my ear, "I don't like this, I don't want to be here, why do you make me come to things like this?" Before the spectacular opening number was over, she again whispered in my ear, "when can we see this again?"

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